Rams politely roll to an ideal document behind some hard-nosed protection
| Sarasota Herald-Tribune
SARASOTA — Gerald Perry’s Riverview Excessive ladies basketball crew has used a velvet hammer to this point this season in amassing a 14-Zero document.
The Rams have flattened their opponents to the hardwood, then helped them again up, on a regular basis sporting a smile. As proof, Perry pulled out his cellphone to point out a textual content acquired from Lemon Bay Excessive coach Mike Younger after the Rams had crushed his crew 62-27 earlier this month.
“You might have one thing particular going along with your crew,” the textual content learn. “Nicely coached and the smartest thing I noticed was well mannered, respectful younger women. You might be doing issues proper and good luck the remainder of the way in which. If you happen to want one thing, simply shoot me a textual content. Your program is the place we’re aspiring to.”
“And that is just like the third or fourth (textual content),” mentioned Perry, the defensive coordinator for the Riverview soccer crew. “Simply doing it the suitable approach.”
Final season, Perry was in his first season as Riverview’s varsity coach, having taken over for Stacia Hill. He was pressured to make use of a handful of freshmen who had but to study the sport, crew chemistry wasn’t one of the best, and the Rams completed 12-14.
“We needed to study and I needed to study,” Perry mentioned. “I simply went off what I knew.” However there was a precedent for Perry turning this system round. The 12 months earlier than, teaching a Ram JV squad “not that proficient and never that tall,” Perry opened eyes with a 17-1 document, Riverview’s solely loss coming by one level.
The man whose solely earlier expertise teaching basketball was within the semi-pro ranks was bought. “I used to be purchased in,” Perry mentioned. “My soccer guys work actually laborious, however these ladies work laborious, too.”
COVID-19 pressured Perry to get inventive. One-hour exercises have been performed through Zoom, with Perry supervising from his residence. “We used socks for various stretches and completely different cardio actions,” he mentioned. “We simply used no matter we needed to do and it was a full-body exercise, on daily basis completely different.
“And the ladies by no means skipped a beat. They got here in to work laborious. I got here in and introduced within the focus that we will do issues the suitable approach and we will work laborious.”
Perry’s freshmen from final season matured. Level guard Nicole Blanch transferred in from Philadelphia so as to add toughness and 3-point taking pictures. Forwards Caroline King and Alexis Randall returned from accidents. And the consequence has been the 14-Zero document, with the Rams averaging 52 factors a sport, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals.
It is all about protection with Perry, who had shirts designed for his gamers which on the entrance learn DEBO — Defensive Power Brings Offense. “By means of protection, offense will come,” mentioned Randall, who missed final season recovering from an ACL tear.
“It is what I demand of them,” Perry mentioned. “I carry that powerful soccer mentality in and I let the ladies know, ‘I am not yelling at you, I am yelling for you.’ They usually simply purchased into it.”
Everybody on Perry’s crew has a job. The 5-foot-Three Blanch leads the Rams in scoring averaging 13.2 factors per sport. Of Riverview’s 97 tried 3-pointers, Blanch has 58, having made 33 for 57% taking pictures. “I am often within the health club,” she mentioned. “I attempt to get three exercises in a day.”
The 5-11 junior King broke a vertebrae as a freshman and missed final season. She’s returned this season to common greater than 12 factors and 6 rebounds. “That is what makes it good,” she mentioned. “It is like a well-oiled machine. All of us work collectively to make what we’re.”
Junior Myah Hagan performs off and taking pictures guard. “All of us have distinctive abilities units and so they all combine very well,” she mentioned. And sophomore Jaylah Wilson, who began final 12 months as a freshman, takes delight in being the purpose particular person when the Rams carry their press protection. “My favourite half is the protection,” she mentioned.
Through YouTube, Perry realized from former NBA participant and coach Butch Carter issues he hadn’t recognized. Now, his two-hour practices are divided into two classes, one engaged on ball dealing with, the opposite on protection. “I felt I wasn’t organized sufficient,” he mentioned. “So I can I anticipate them to be organized.”
His crew carries a cumulative GPA of round 3.8, which makes the psychological a part of the sport straightforward for Perry to translate. Calling himself a “sponge,” Perry gathers data from in every single place, together with from former Rams coach Cayll Smith.
Thursday evening, the Rams host 10-2 Lakewood Ranch, however Perry and his crew is not targeted on sustaining their undefeated document. “On the finish of the day,” Blanch mentioned, “now we have one thing to win greater than Lakewood Ranch,”
And that, in fact, is the postseason. Each time one in every of his gamers has a birthday, Perry will purchase cupcakes for the crew. It generally extends to the JV as effectively. It is all about household with Perry, who needs to ascertain roots for his program.
“I am actually attempting to construct it right here.”
Perry’s constructing course of appears effectively underway. Lemon Bay coach Mike Younger would agree.